A Republican Mom Sends a Letter to Her Party

BY ON January 23, 2012

This is an open letter to the 2012 Republican Candidate Hopefuls from Laura Burns:

Laura BurnsDear Sirs,

Every morning as I drink my coffee, I read news updates about your primary campaigns. I’m a Republican mom.  And I’m so sad. All of you are religious and conservative. You’ve made your positions clear on issues like abortion, national debt and education. Not one of you agrees 100% with the other…and that’s OK. That’s why there’s a choice that helps us decide who will be the best fit for our presidential candidate. Time passes and debates have been won, yet I feel a very limited sense of confidence in my potential Republican candidate.

I realize that since President Nixon’s tenure, Republicans haven’t placed a high priority on the environment, but NOW is the time for change. NOW is the time in our country’s history that you need to stand up and make positive choices for our natural resources. These resources are all we have to pass down to our children. These children are the future of our country!

Mothers all over the US are angry. We are angry about the pathetic state of our air quality. We are angry that our children suffer from asthma in unprecedented numbers and cannot enjoy being children…running and playing.

As a mother in Ohio, I don’t want my state to continue to be the most toxic state in the union. I don’t want to wake up on summer days and worry about the air quality being too poor for us to play outside. I want to be able to let my children enjoy nature without fear of toxins and pollution. Please hear our voices and take the time to revisit your positions on environmental issues. Take the time to truly count the cost of the Clean Air Act and see the long-term benefits. Consider the damage done if we throw away all that has been worked toward in the last two decades. Please listen to mothers, we’re fighting for our children, their health and their world. If necessary, go against the party line and take a stand with us for our environment and for clean air.

I implore you to think about our children, your children, and their future. Remember this as you debate over healthcare: 1 in 5 Americans suffer from asthma. This horrible illness eats up billions of dollars in healthcare, causes thousands of missed days of school or work, and sadly claims hundreds of lives each year. Asthma sufferers would be some the first people who could benefit from strong protections of our environment. Please consider the whole picture as you make your decisions. Do not write off environmental issues as something that won’t really be worth your efforts. I promise you, that when it comes to clean air and our children, mothers will vote with our hearts.


Laura Burns (mother of 2)


TOPICS: Activism, Asthma, Motherhood, Ohio, Politics, Pollution

  • Jenny Confer Linn

    This is exactly how I feel. I think if republicans could address some of these environmental issues instead of denying that theses very real problems exist, I would be able to consider voting for one. The more I learn about our air quality issues in Ohio, the angrier I feel. I actually moved here to raise a family. It makes me feel terrible that I did not know about our air pollution problems and every day I am talking to moms who also have no idea this is happening.

  • Great post. I have asthma and pollution in my town leads to more attacks than I had when I lived in the country. Struggling to breath is not enjoyable. Many days I just can’t go outside because the air quality is to bad. Oklahoma’s ozone alert days jumped this past year which is pretty scary to me.

    I am a former Republican and while I disagree with many things Nixon did, his environmental policies were some of the best we have seen in awhile. Sadly the only pro-science candidate the Republicans had (Huntsman) has dropped out.

    • Lisa, I had never had trouble breathing until I moved to Tulsa. For the duration of my college experience, I was on a regular inhaler if I wanted to do any sort of outdoor activity. My ecology field work was a bit of a challenge. I am very discouraged by the Republican presidential hopefuls… however, perhaps we will be able to challenge the members of the Senate and they will become the voice of reason in our lovely system of checks and balances?

  • Jana Green

    Very well put. I totally agree with you. We live in Birmingham, AL, where the air quality is terrible. There are many days during the summer in which myself and my two asthmatic children can not go outside.

    • Jana, this just breaks my heart! My son, who is 2 and a half, would just have a fit if he wasn’t able to go outside daily! I am really, really hoping that our government wakes up and realizes the far reaching impact of air quality.

    • Lynne Peeples

      Hi Jana,

      I’m an environmental health reporter at The Huffington Post looking for a parent of a child (or children) with asthma that might be willing to speak with me. If you’re willing, I think your story could help illustrate the real consequences of the assault on clean air regulations by industry and Republican politicians — the subject of a story I’m currently working on. Please let me know: lynne.peeples@huffingtonpost.com.

      If anyone else reading this has something they’d like to share, I’d appreciate hearing from you too.

      Thanks so much,


  • Canary

    Air and water pollution are only the tip of the iceberg. We need someone to stand up against big agribusiness and the damage done to our food and drug supply by petrochemical additives, GMOs, and other non-nutritive changes made in recent decades. Our family has been affected in the last few years by these changes and I’d love to see someone stand up and take point on breaking the hold of the pharmaceutical and agricultural industry on the USDA and FDA. Stop letting the fox guard the henhouse and start putting our health above profits!

    • Amen and Amen!! Agribusiness is ugly. All-consuming and ugly. I used to work in Pharmaceutical research and it wasn’t until I saw the sponsor names for the studies that I realized how closely interconnected everything in our world is now. I am really concerned about making sure we support the local farmers as much as they can. Higher prices or not, someone needs to stand up for the little people and stop bowing to the powers that be.

  • Jenny Linn

    Lisa and Jana, I was just diagnosed with asthma last August. I spent my first summer ever being held back from activities I love because my chest was tight or my cough was too bad. When you have asthma, those Ozone days take on a whole new meaning and this was a rude awakening for me. Canary, we have another Ohio blogger, Claire Childers, who is coming onboard who feels VERY strongly about the issues you raise here. Be sure to check out her posts in the coming weeks and months.

    • Can’t wait to read Claire’s posts!

  • Steve

    Dear Laura,

    Thank you for summing up my own personal feeling about the Republicans over the past few decades. I used to consider myself a Republican, but I feel that the party has betrayed my and many of the things I find important. I don’t believe a single Republican candidate truly cares about the people in this country, just the corporations (which, contrary to what some of them have stated, are NOT people) that fund them.

    Thank you for being vocal with your party.